I have a question about this test question:

Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation therapy can help patients with a certain type of lung cancer live nearly 50 percent longer than they ........ otherwise if the same treatment ...... differently.

  1. may have / will be given
  2. might have / was given
  3. could have had / would be given
  4. would have had / would have been given

The answer is 2.

Why did it use "might have"? Why not for example "might"?

... help them live longer than they might have

What?! They might have lived? In this way it won't be a 2nd conditional. Using "was given" is correct I think, because he is talking about an imagination and a thought in the present tense and it is similar to the concept of conditional sentences type 2.

  • You're right, but the main reason is to parallel "Chemotherapy given at the same time with given differently. (I'd write given at different times, not differently.) Jun 22 at 12:16
  • 1
    Chemotherapy was given with radiation. But what about separately? Not as good, but it might have been as good? No, together helped with much longer life. Jun 22 at 12:44
  • 2
    Might is just as good as might have, but it wasn't one of the options on the question, was it? Jun 22 at 14:09
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    @YosefBaskin - I believe "Chemotherapy given" is actually short for "Chemotherapy that was given." Jun 22 at 23:23
  • 1
    Mahdi, I wouldn't have used "might have" in this sentence, but a lot of people writing in English are a little sloppy. The speaker's time point of view is a bit mixed up, so I understand your unhappiness. But I've seen worse test questions in my life. Jun 22 at 23:26


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